Historian Anthony Grayling has a new book that puts forth the notion that perhaps the Allied forces also committed war crimes during WWII. What in the world does this have to do with crochet, you ask?

Well, I heard him on the radio the other day, and he quoted Mao Tse Tung as saying “War is Not Crochet.” OK–this made me stop in my tracks. It wasn’t the quote, per se… Just the notion of Mao having anything to do with crochet. What did Mao know about crochet? Did his mother crochet? Did he? Was crochet popular enough in China during Mao’s reign to warrant such a cultural reference? Google has been no luck in this respect, unfortunately, the only references to the quote I’ve found are in articles about Graylings book. I’ve searched wikipedia and online copies of “The Little Red Book” to know avail… So if you’re a crocheter and a Mao expert, and you can enlighten us, please do!

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Did Chairman Mao Crochet?

4 thoughts on “Did Chairman Mao Crochet?

  • April 21, 2006 at 3:59 am

    hmmm. wonder if he meant croquet. Oh well, hope there are some experts out there, ’cause I would love to know more.

  • April 21, 2006 at 6:56 am

    fascinating! i just had a student tell me that her father taught her to knit on chopsticks. she said at that time if you wanted a sweater, you knit a sweater. so men knit. (a slight caveat: this learning took place in bangkok, though the family is chinese.)

    i’d contact the author and ask him for the reference. can’t hurt!

  • April 22, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    Fascinating! what an interesting little tidbit. I would say contact the author. Think of the possibilities – did Marx knit? or crochet? 🙂

    Just found your blog, and I am glad I did – we are fellow Marylanders! I am just up I95 in Columbia.

    Best wishes,

  • April 23, 2006 at 1:23 pm

    Very very interesting. But I don’t know anything about it. I did read Nien Chung’s Life and Death in Shanghai recently, which made me not so favorably inclined towards the Maoists, but that’s similiarly unhelpful. Definitely let us know what you find out.

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